May 19, 2020

Auto Manufacturing = Unsustainable in Oz?

Carbon tax
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Auto Manufacturing = Unsustainable in Oz?

That’s the very question UTS economics lecturer Stephen Kirchner asked in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald in a report about Australia’s declining auto manufacturing industry.

'The costs are far too high, both in terms of the tariffs that are on imported motor vehicles and the value of subsidies that are being paid to the industry,”' Dr Kirchner told the newspaper, adding that “Australia is too small to follow other countries' example of propping up car makers.”

He makes a valid point, considering that 2012 has seen Holden and Toyota cut a combined 450 jobs from their manufacturing plants. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has plans to discontinue the Coalition’s financial support of the car industry (despite the unpopularity of that decision, as voiced by more than half of voters in a recent poll), which would cut $500 million from the car makers’ subsidy package. In defence of his proposal, Abbott cited the carbon tax and $1 billion in Howard-era assistance funds intended for the auto industry.


“The objective of these schemes is to try to ensure that we have a viable auto industry into the future, and that means more production for export. “I want a strong, viable car industry in this country and the best thing you can do for the car industry is stop the carbon tax... [it’s] going to add some $400 to the cost of every car produced in this country,” Abbott told The Australian.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard argued, however, that employment and skill advancement in an industry that employs approximate one million Australians must be taken into account.

“... [It] is not just about the car industry jobs … it's also about the importance of that skill system and that ability to innovate and that kind of equipment and machinery to the whole of manufacturing,” Gillard told the Sydney Morning Herald.

A nation populated by 22 million people will always struggle to compete on an international level with Europe, Japan and the US. As an alternative, University of Western Sydney professor Steve Keen proposed steering the industry in a more fiscally sustainable direction: green innovation.

He asked the SMH, ''Why don't we show a bit of courage and give something like that a go rather than throwing money down the gurgler of V8s?''

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Jun 13, 2021

Seo JungJin: Who is EY’s World Entrepreneur of 2021?

Kate Birch
3 min
From just US$45,000 capital in 2003 to a world-leading biopharma giant with revenues of US$1.69bn today, Seo JungJin is crowned EY World Entrepreneur 2021

Seo JungJin, founder of biopharma firm Celltrion, which most recently developed an antibody treatment for COVID-19, has been named the EY World Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, becoming the first South Korean in the award’s 21-year history.

Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year celebrates visionary and innovative leaders from across 60 countries who are transforming the world and fostering growth.

JungJin, who is now honoroary chairman of Celltrion Group, was up against a worthy cast of entrepreneurial competitors, taking the crown from among 45 award winners across 38 countries and territories.

Speaking during the virtual event, JungJin described his own interpretation of entrepreneurship as something that brings together “a group of people toward a common vision, embracing challenges as opportunities and committing oneself to contribute to the greater good”.

Why was JungJin crowned King Entrepreneur?

A South Korean native and now 63 years of age, JungJin founded biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion in 2003. In the nearly two decades since its founding, Celltrion has lived up to its goal of advancing health and welfare for all by developing ground-breaking drugs to treat autoimmune disease, various forms of cancer and, most recently, COVID-19.

The company, which JungJin started with just US$45,000 and five of his colleagues, has since growth to more than 2,1000 employees with sales permits in more than 90 countries and revenues exceeding US$1.69bn.

According to the panel, JungJin’s story is a shining example of the power of an unstoppable entrepreneur to change the world with the pandel moved by both his incredible story and his purpose-driven leadership, innovative mindset and entrepreneurial spirit.

Described by the chair of the EY judging panel Rosaleen Blair as “representing everything an unstoppable should be” from taking on the world’s biggest health care challenges to consistently creating long-term value for his company, JungJin’s story is one of incredible tenacity and perseverance that the judging panel felt most represented the entrepreneurial spirit.

“He’s taken breathtaking risks, both personal and professional, to found Celltrion and grow it into one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies,” says Stasia Mitchell, EY Global Entrepreneurship Leader. “His passion for creating affordable, life-saving health care and flair for tackling global problems has led to many treatments that have helped millions of people worldwide and was especially evident this past year through the creation of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.”

How did JungJin get there?

JungJin's entrepreneurial journey started at an early age when he worked as a taxi driver to get himself through Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. After studying industrial engineering, he rose through the ranks of Daewoo Motor Co. before losing his job amid the carmaker’s financial troubles following the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

Following this, JungJin started collaborating with colleagues to explore business opportunities in different industries, though none delivered lasting success. The turning point came after he attended a talk hosted by renowned scholars, which inspired him to focus on the biopharmaceutical sector.

And so he founded Celltrion with just US$45,000 of his savings. The launch of Remsima, credited with being the world's first antibody biosimilar, quickly moved Celltrion up the ranks of the country's fairly underdeveloped pharmaceutical sector. Celltrion followed this success with the launch of drugs for breast cancer and lymphoma that today are being used worldwide.

With ambitions to be the world’s first in different areas, Celltrion has pioneered numerous uncharted areas to great success over the past two decades, most recently responding to the global pandemic by successfully developing an antibody treatment for COVID-19 and working to ensure a timely supply of the safe and effective treatment.

“When I first started, my vision was to help patients gain access to safe, effective and affordable medicines and thereby enhance the quality of people’s lives,” explains JungJin. “The success of Celltrion has enabled me to expand on this while finding new ways to fuel my entrepreneurial drive.”


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